The Chrysostom Bible

Thought this might interest some of you who consider Patristics a valuable tool:

The present Bible Commentary Series is not so much in honor of John Chrysostom as it is to continue and promote his legacy as an interpreter of the biblical texts for preaching and teaching God’s congregation, in order to prod its members to proceed on the way they started when they accepted God’s calling. Chrysostom’s virtual uniqueness is that he did not subscribe to any hermeneutic or methodology, since this would amount to introducing an extra-textual authority over the biblical texts. For him, scripture is its own interpreter. Listening to the texts time and again allowed him to realize that “call” and “read (aloud)” are not interconnected realities; rather, they are one reality since they both are renditions of the same Hebrew verb qara’. Given that words read aloud are words of instruction for one “to do them,” the only valid reaction would be to hear, listen, obey, and abide by these words. All these connotations are subsumed in the same Hebrew verb šama‘. On the other hand, these scriptural “words of life” are presented as readily understandable utterances of a father to his children (Isaiah 1:2-3). The recipients are never asked to engage in an intellectual debate with their divine instructor, or even among themselves, to fathom what he is saying. The Apostle to the Gentiles followed in the footsteps of the Prophets to Israel by handing down to them the Gospel, that is, the Law of God’s Spirit through his Christ (Romans 8:2; Galatians 6:2) as fatherly instruction (1 Corinthians 4:15). He in turn wrote readily understandable letters to be read aloud. It is in these same footsteps that Chrysostom followed, having learned from both the Prophets and Paul that the same “words of life” carry also the sentence of death at the hand of the scriptural God, Judge of all (Deuteronomy 28; Joshua 8:32-35; Psalm 82; Matthew 3:4-12; Romans 2:12-16; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Revelation 20:11-15). (read the rest here)

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